Down in the lower level of the SHOT Show where the sun never shines and fart clouds hang heavy in the gloom, lurks the really interesting stuff—the good ideas from small manufacturers whose stocks have not yet split. This year there are two products from the nether regions that I would like to bring to your attention.
First is Silky Saws. What in the name of all that is holy is a Silky Saw? Glad you asked. Silky is a Japanese saw maker that has been around for nearly a century and makes an extensive line of terrific saws with two that are of special interest to hunters. But first a note: I’m a great believer in saws because they’ll do anything an axe will do except split wood and pound stuff, except quietly, and you won’t take off your foot.
Champion's new Bella Ballistica glasses give female shooters a chance to stay fashionable without sacrificing function at the range. The glasses were designed specifically for women in modern styles that don't scream "skeet shooter!"
These glasses are a spin off of Champion's popular Ballistic line and feature ANSI z87+ glass, so they are much more than sunglasses being marketed as shooting glasses.
Features are the name of the game when it comes to new hunting packs and Alps' Crossfire has plenty of them. It sports a vented mesh back panel, a frame system, and a detachable accessory pocket. It also features a gun or bow carrier, a blaze orange pack cover, and more compression straps than you'll need.
Seaduck decoys have come a long ways in the last few years, and these new dekes from Avery are the latest evolution. The Greenhead Gear decoys are foam-filled, which means they should be able to eat some steel and keep floating. As seaduck hunters know, their hunting gear is going to take a beating. This is especially true for decoys that draw in low-flying birds that often take more than one shell to kill. So, give these dekes a shot the next time you head out for seaducks.
This new knife from Buck is being marketed as 'tactical' but it could just as easily find its home in a hunter's pack. It has an aluminum handle and a blade of 154CM steel. The most interesting feature on this new knife is the locking system. This system makes the knife very strong and allows it open quickly. It will retail for about $125.
Introducing a sub-gauge shotgun seemed to be a theme among firearm makers at SHOT Show this year. And, this new Weatherby was one of our favorites. The SA-08 28-gauge Deluxe only weighs 5.5 pounds and handles beautifully. Don't think a 28-gauge has enough killing power? Let this new semiautomatic prove you wrong … it will retail for about $850.
This 4-inch drop-point knife from SOG was one of the most innovative products of SHOT Show. It has a stainless steel blade and an injection-molded handle. The most intriguing feature is the six LED lights that give you 90 minutes of burn time. If you've ever found your deer after dark just as your headlamp batteries were dying, you'll fully appreciate the intelligent design of the SOG Bladelight Hunt.
Syren is a new brand from Caesar Guerini and Fabarm. Their new gun is totally designed for women: it has a shorter length of pull, a tighter radius grip, and a Monte Carlo stock that's angled out for a more natural fit for the average woman.
There will be four new guns in the line: a 12-gauge semiauto, 12- and 20-gauge sporting guns, and the field gun you see in the video.
It's not a switch blade, but you can definitely open the new SOG Zoom with one hand. The 4-inch, drop-point blade is made of AUS steel and the handle is made of aluminum. The safety is designed to keep the knife from opening in your pocket. It will retail for about $100.
Nightforce was able to keep the costs down on its new SHV (Shooter, Hunter, Varminter) by utilizing simpler controls, employing a less complex manufacturing process, and by reducing the overbuilding that goes into their tactical scopes. The SHV will stand up to any kind of sane treatment, but you can’t break rocks with it, or chock truck tires, or beat recalcitrant mules, as you can with the higher-priced Nightforces.